Check those freez­ers for re­called meat

Prod­uct no longer in stores, but it may still be in homes

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

It’s time to check those freez­ers for ground beef, Yuma.

A mas­sive re­call of ground beef that be­gan in Oc­to­ber has been ex­panded this week, from 6.9 mil­lion pounds to 12.1 mil­lion pounds of raw beef prod­ucts.

Ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, the prod­ucts were pack­aged be­tween late July and Septem­ber. The re­called prod­ucts, which were pro­duced by JBS Tolle­son in Ari­zona, will have the USDA in­spec­tion num­ber “EST.267.”

The U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Food Safety and In­spec­tion Ser­vice says the con­cern stems from Sal­monella New­port. So far, 246 pa­tients have been con­firmed in 25 states.

Sal­monella can be a se­ri­ous is­sue. It’s one of the most com­mon bac­te­rial food­borne ill­nesses, with symp­toms in­clud­ing di­ar­rhea, ab­dom­i­nal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours of eat­ing the con­tam­i­nated food. Symp­toms can last for four to seven days.

There are ways to mit­i­gate the con­cerns of bac­te­ria like sal­monella, which can be present in any raw meat or poul­try. The USDA notes that one should first al­ways cook raw meat to a safe in­ter­nal tem­per­a­ture, and to ver­ify that, check the tem­per­a­ture with a food ther­mome­ter. Why? Be­cause if you hit the right tem­per­a­tures, cook­ing kills sal­monella.

The other key step is to al­ways wash hands and any food prep spa­ces and uten­sils thor­oughly and of­ten, to help pre­vent cross con­tam­i­na­tion.

Of­fi­cials note that this ground beef has been pulled from stores, so any ground beef pur­chased now shouldn’t be a con­cern. The cur­rent con­cern is for any prod­uct that could still be lurk­ing in some­one’s freezer — hence the call to check those freez­ers.

The ground beef in ques­tion was sold across the na­tion. Given that, it’s worth check­ing your freez­ers for ground beef. If you find ground beef with USDA in­spec­tion num­ber “EST. 267,” throw it out, or re­turn it to the place of pur­chase.

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